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Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has signed into law a new bill that allows him to extend his time in office for another two terms.

In Russia, one term now equals six years so, if everything goes to plan, Putin will still be the head of the country until 2036.

When Putin was elected as president in 2000, he served his two consecutive four-year terms as stated by Russian law. In 2008, his second in command, Dmitry Medvedev, took over the reigns for two consecutive terms as well.

During his two terms, Medvedev passed a law that a term will change from four to six years. When Putin was re-elected as the head of the controversial Independent Party, he reclaimed his role as president in 2018.

Voting around this specific bill was grouped together with other proposed bills in a referendum, where Russians were asked to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on various newly proposed laws, including a ban on gay marriage.

The controversial referendum relating to these and other constitutional changes were met with criticism from the opposition party as reports of people voting more than once surfaced. Putin’s government claimed the referendum, which was held nine months ago, was done in such a way to avoid social distancing during the pandemic.

The 68-year-old Putin could effectively only step down as the president of Russia at the age of 85.

Image credit: Vox

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